Psoriasis


Among the many skin problems, Psoriasis is a very common and dreadful disease where the incidence rate is found to be 1.02% in India. This is an immune-mediated disease that causes scaly patches that appear over the skin. It causes the cells to build up over the skin surface. These extra cells form scales and red patches, that are itchy in nature. These patches may be dry or oozing and sometimes painful as well.

The disease has a chronic nature that often comes and disappears. There is no permanent cure for the disease, however, the symptoms can be managed.  It occurs in both the genders and all age groups. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. Although psoriasis occurs to any part of the body, it commonly occurs in the following areas:

                Plaque Psoriasis

Although psoriasis can occur in any part of the body, most commonly it is seen in the following areas:

  • Scalp
  • Elbows
  • Knees 
  • Underarms
  • Lower back
  • Finger and toenails
  • Genital area
  • Navel
  • Between buttocks
  • Knuckles
  • Other body folds

What are the causes of psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. So the disease pops up when there is a compromise in the immune system.  

The immune system is made up of a collaboration between cells and proteins that work together to prevent any sort of infections to the body. The development of all cells of the immune system happens in the bone marrow with a hematopoietic stem cell. Typically, there are two important cells namely, T cells and B cells. Any trigger causes these cells to fight against the infections. They produce a chemical that causes inflammation. 

The immune system involves a type of cells known as T cells. A trigger causes the T cells to behave as if they are fighting an infection or healing a wound. They produce chemicals that cause inflammation. This leads to excess growth of skin cells and creates inflammation. 

What triggers this condition is still not clear. On a general note, people with extreme habits of smoking, alcohol, infection/allergy, injuries to the skin, drastic hormonal changes, stress, and anxiety are more prone to show up this disease
In some cases, medications like indomethacin, quinidine, etc. can also be a leading cause of psoriasis. People who follow an adverse diet habit are most prone to suffer from psoriasis. An extreme change in weather conditions also easily effects the skin and can lead to the disease.

What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?

In psoriasis, both dead and live cells get collected over the surface.

Main Symptoms include:



  • Presence of Red, flaky, crusty patches over the   skin
  • Patches are covered with silvery scales which sheds easily 
  • Intense itching and burning
  • Sometimes the patches are wet and oozing.

Symptoms vary from case to case. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation,

Psoriasis variations

Percentage affected in the body

Mild Psoriasis

3% of the body

Moderate Psoriasis

3-10% of the body

Severe Psoriasis

More than 10% of the body

The majority of the people,80% have mild psoriasis and 20% have moderate to severe psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

1.  Plaque psoriasis


This is the most common type of psoriasis, about 80 to 90 percent of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis. The skin appears as raised, inflamed with red lesions, which is covered by silvery scales. These are commonly seen in elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

2.  Inverse psoriasis


This condition is common in armpits, the groin, under the breasts and other skin folds. The lesions appear without the scales. The affected part of the skin appears more smooth and shiny. This is very common in obese individuals. It may cause irritation due to rubbing and sweating because it mainly pops up in the tender areas.

3.  Erythrodermic psoriasis

This psoriasis appears in an inflammatory form which is more reddish compared to other types. The lesions are not properly defined in the type. There may be severe itching associated with pain in this condition.

Erythrodermic psoriasis may cause edema around the ankles. The body finds it difficult in adjusting with the temperature. This can also trigger infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

4.  Guttate psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis often starts in childhood. It appears in the form of small red spots that are not thick. Conditions like upper respiratory infections, streptococcal infections, tonsillitis, stress, injury to the skin can trigger Guttate psoriasis. It disappears by its own and generally doesn’t reappear.

5.  Pustular psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is a rare category where less than 5 percent gets affected. This commonly occurs in adults than in children. It appears in the form of white pustules, or blisters, or non-infectious pus, surrounded by red skin. It occurs in hands, feet, or most of the body. The condition is not contagious. Initially, the skin reddens and followed by pustules and scaling.

6.  Psoriatic arthritis

                             

Studies claim that up to 40 percent of people with psoriasis have joint inflammation with signs of arthritis. This condition is called as psoriatic arthritis. It appears in an upper age group of 30-50yrs. This leads to progressive damage to the joints. Other symptoms include physical discomfort, itching, and pain.

Home Remedies for Psoriasis - Cure Naturally At Home

Since psoriasis is a serious skin condition, it definitely requires medical intervention. Few home remedies listed below can be tried which helps to manage the disease. 

1. Fresh Aloe vera Gel 


Take fresh aloe leaves. Cut the leaves and extract the pulp out of it. Apply it over the lesions. This prevents itching and burning sensation.

Aloe is rich in antioxidants which helps in bettering the psoriatic lesions. The plant is an anti-inflammatory agent, which also helps to reduce the inflamed lesions. Studies proved that the gel is potent to reduce the redness and scaling associated with psoriasis.

2. Application of Neem Paste 


Fresh neem leaves should be collected and clean in running water. These are to be ground into a fine paste. Apply this paste to the infected lesions. Keep this for 15-20 mins and wash off the paste before it is completely dried. 
Neem has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This helps to heal the lesions and prevents from infection. Neem also help to reduce the itching sensation. The plant boosts the immune system and also purifies the blood. 
Alternatively, the neem leaves can be put into the water, which is used for taking bath. This helps to reduce the burning and itching sensation in the lesions. 

3. Paste of Cassia Leaves (Golden shower tree)


The cassia leaves are collected freshly and cleaned. Then the leaves are ground to fine paste. Apply this fine paste over the psoriatic lesions.
The plant is scientifically called as ‘Cassia fistula’. This is a very common plant available all over the country. The bark of Cassia is also used in treating the inflammations caused due to the lesions. It is believed that it heals the wound and also decrease the pus discharge from the affected lesion and acts as an antiseptic.
 
4. Application of Kutajapatra Taila
Applying the kutajapatra taila can help to heal the lesions caused due to psoriasis. 
Kutajapatra taila is an effective Ayurveda remedy which is commonly used in treating the disease.'

5. Common regimens to be followed

  • Normal food can be eaten.
  • Consumption of old rice, barley, green gram, bitter vegetables and meat of wild animals are wholesome for the body.
  • Excess consumption of sour and salty food should be avoided. Less intake of pepper (which creates heat in the body), curd, milk, jaggery, etc. should be considered.
  • Intake sesame seeds and black gram are contraindicated
  • Should not indulge in sexual intercourse.
  • Strictly avoid intake of alcoholic drinks